Warholm destroys world record to win 400m hurdles Gold
Warholm accounted for the spectacular Men’s 400m hurdles Gold Medal in a new world record time of 45.94s. Rai Benjamin of the USA came second to win Silver in 46.17s, ahead of Brazil’s Alison dos Santos who took the Bronze Medal in 46.72s.
Both Warholm and Benjamin went under the previous world record while the Norwegian was almost a second under the former world best of 46.70s.
Warholm got off to a blistering start, moving to the front from the early stages and looking for all the world as if he would saunter to victory.
However, the USA’s Rai Benjamin had other ideas, sprinting level with the Norwegian down the final straight. It looked, momentarily, as if Warholm would fade but as he jumped aggressively over the final hurdle, he found a new lease of life, charging over the line to better his own world mark.
Benjamin and Warholm found one willing – ability to push them to their very best. The USA athlete can content himself with a shiny Silver Medal.
However, in any other race, in any other decade – his time would have made him a Gold Medallist and a world record holder.
Warholm has done what no athlete in the sport has ever been able to do before. He broke Kevin Young’s 29-year-old world record only a month ago in a lead up to the Olympic Games.
Thus, the Norwegian now has an Olympic Gold Medal and a better world record.
Delighted with his Olympic Gold Medal, as well as breaking the 46-second barrier for the first time in history, Warholm said: “I mean, man it’s so crazy. It’s by far the biggest moment of my life. It defines everything, all the hours I put in, everything that my coach has been working for.
I dream about it like a maniac, I tell you. I sleep all night on it. I spend all my time thinking about this, so just getting this last medal into my collection, it’s complete.”
Warholm further added: “I can’t sleep. I’ve spent thousands of hours thinking about this. I had this special feeling in my chest when you are nervous. I was just thinking this is the feeling that I had when I was six years old. I’ve never had that feeling since I got older but yesterday I had it.”
Obviously brought to tears after narrowly missing out the crown, Benjamin couldn’t hide his disappointment at the final result.
“Knowing that you want to be the best, this is what it costs. It’s hard. It hurts. But it is what it is. I always give myself 24 hours to process things. Right now I am just full of emotion. I have worked so hard. This is what matters. I got a medal but it just hurts to lose,” he said.
In the Women’s long jump final worked off today, German Malaika Mihambi had a season’s best 7.00m to take the Gold Medal.
USA’s Brittney Reese had a leap of 6.97m to take the Silver Medal while Nigerian had a close finish with the American to take the Bronze.